Gnesio-Lutherans

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Gnesio-Lutherans (from Greek γνήσιος [gnesios]: genuine, authentic) [1] is a modern name for a theological party in the Lutheran churches, [2] in opposition to the Philippists [3] after the death of Martin Luther and before the Formula of Concord. In their own day they were called Flacians by their opponents and simply Lutherans by themselves. Later Flacian became to mean an adherent of Matthias Flacius' view of original sin, rejected by the Formula of Concord. In a broader meaning, the term Gnesio-Lutheran is associated mostly with the defence of the doctrine of Real Presence.

Contents

Controversies

After the death of Luther, many theological controversies arose among the Lutherans, mostly due to teaching of Philip Melanchthon. Gnesio-Lutherans were profiled by defending Martin Luther's doctrine, in the beginning led by Matthias Flacius. The Gnesio-Lutherans exercised strict doctrinal discipline, but they also opposed with equal determination what they considered to be the errors of their fellow-combatants like von Amsdorf (Amsdorfians), Flacius (Flacians), Poach, and others. The centres of Gnesio-Lutherans were Magdeburg and the University of Jena.

Gnesio-Lutherans were involved in:

  1. Adiaphoristic Controversy,
  2. The Majoristic Controversy (Nicolaus von Amsdorf, Nicolaus Gallus),
  3. The Second Antinomian Controversy, (Andreas Poach, Anton Otto)
  4. The Synergistic Controversy (Matthias Flacius, Nicolaus Gallus)
  5. The Osiandrian Controversy and
  6. The Crypto-Calvinistic Controversy.

Other Gnesio-Luherans were Caspar Aquila, Joachim Westphal, Johann Wigand, Matthäus Judex, Joachim Mörlin, Tilemann Heshusius, Johann Timann, Simon Musaeus, Erasmus Sarcerius, and Aegidius Hunnius.

The Crypto-Calvinistic Controversy

The Crypto-Calvinistic Controversy was the largest of the controversies of the second generation of the Lutheran Reformation. Since it was far more fundamental to the Lutheran Church, Lutherans outside of the Flacian party took the Gnesio-Lutheran position against Philippism and Crypto-Calvinism. In the middle between the Philippists and the Gnesio-Lutherans, the "Centrist party" included Johannes Brenz, Jakob Andreae, Martin Chemnitz, Nikolaus Selnecker, David Chytraeus, Andreas Musculus, and others. Unlike the Gnesio-Lutherans, the members of the "centre party" were opposed to any unnecessary controversies involving no doctrinal differences, and careful not to fall into any extreme position themselves. The Gnesio-Lutheran Joachim Westphal was first to write to defend the Real Presence against the Calvinists, and Melanchthon stigmatized his and other Gnesio-Lutherans' doctrine as "bread worship". [4]

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Philip Melanchthon German reformer

Philip Melanchthon was a German Lutheran reformer, collaborator with Martin Luther, the first systematic theologian of the Protestant Reformation, intellectual leader of the Lutheran Reformation, and an influential designer of educational systems. He stands next to Luther and John Calvin as a reformer, theologian, and moulder of Protestantism.

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Crypto-Calvinism is a pejorative term describing a segment of German members of the Lutheran Church accused of secretly subscribing to Calvinist doctrine of the Eucharist in the decades immediately after the death of Martin Luther in 1546.

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Adiaphoron.

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References

Footnotes

Bibliography

Bente, F. (1965) [1921]. Historical Introductions to the Book of Concord. St. Louis, Missouri: Concordia Publishing House.
Livingstone, E. A., ed. (2013). "Gnesio-Lutherans". The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press (published 2015). doi:10.1093/acref/9780199659623.001.0001. ISBN   978-0-19-174430-3.
Lueker, Erwin L.; Poellot, Luther; Jackson, Paul, eds. (2000). "Gnesio-Lutherans". Christian Cyclopedia. St. Louis, Missouri: Concordia Publishing House. Retrieved 6 November 2017 via Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.
Schaff, Philip (1910). History of the Christian Church. 8 (3rd ed.). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Christian Classics Ethereal Library (published 2005). Retrieved 6 November 2017.
Sproul, R.C. ed. (2016). The Legacy of Luther. Orlando, Florida: Reformation Trust.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)